OPen Letter to the US House of Representatives
December 15, 2022
On behalf of the Darfur Consortium, a coalition of more than 30 Africa-based and Africa-focused NGOs, I urge you to support the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act currently under consideration in the House of Representatives, and to ensure that the proposed $50 million allocation in support of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) is attached to the Defense Appropriations conference report.
As the Congressional Session nears its end, it is imperative that the House of Representatives act quickly to defend the people of Darfur. It has now been more than a year since Congress declared the unfolding crisis in Darfur as genocide, but action to stop the bloodshed has not been commensurate with the severity of the challenge.
In February 2005, the Darfur Consortium conducted a mission of African experts to Chad and Darfur to assess the situation firsthand and to assess the perspectives of the displaced on the way forward. The refugees and local community leaders with whom we spoke made it clear that two things were needed to enable them to return safely to their homes: security on the ground and justice for the heinous crimes which had been committed against their people.
Congress has an opportunity to respond to both calls by passing the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act. The African Union force is making efforts to protect civilians in Darfur, but it is utterly inadequately resourced. The $50 million in additional funding currently being debated as part of the Defense Appropriations conference report, coupled with authorization to the President to provide support to the AU Mission and to use US influence to encourage NATO to provide logistical support, would go a long way toward reinforcing the capacity of this beleaguered force.
The Darfur Peace and Accountability Act also addresses the cry for justice which has gone out from the people of Darfur by including sense of Congress language urging the United States government to support the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s efforts to prosecute those most responsible for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. It is open for this cooperation to take a number of forms from sharing information gathered by the United States which could be vital to the investigation to exerting influence to ensure that other states, including Sudan, cooperate with the Court.
The Darfur Peace and Accountability Act has already passed in the Senate: please act now to ensure that it is passed in the House before the end of 2005. We would be most grateful for your support.
Please do not hesitate to be in contact with us if we can provide any further information you may need for your consideration of the legislation.
On behalf of the Darfur Consortium
Action Professionals Association for the People
Aegis Trust Rwanda
African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies
African Center for Development
African Society of International and Comparative Law
African Women's Development and Communications Network (FEMNET)
The Ahueni Foundation
Alliances for Africa
Amman Centre for Human Rights Studies
Andalus Institute for Tolerance
Arab Program for Human Rights Activists
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Centre for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE)
Centre for Research Education and Development of Freedom of Expression and Associated Rights (CREDO)
Citizens for Global Solutions
Conseil national pour les libertés en Tunisie
Darfur Alert Coalition
Darfur Centre for Human Rights and Development
Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre
Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
La Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH)
Femmes Africa Solidarité
Human Rights Centre, University of Pretoria
Human Rights First
Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA)
Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa
Inter-African Union for Human Rights (UIDH)
International Commission of Jurists
International Refugee Rights Initiative
Justice and Peace Commission
Lawyers for Human Rights
Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections
Legal Resources Consortium-Nigeria
Ligue Tunisienne des Droits de l'Homme
Makumira University College, Tumaini University
Minority Rights Group
National Association of Seadogs
Open Society Justice Initiative
People Against Injustice (PAIN)
Rencontre Africaine Pour la Defense des Droits de l'Homme (RADDHO)
Sudan Organization Against Torture
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)
Sudanese Refugee Association in South Africa
Syrian Organization for Human Rights
Universal Human Rights Network
World Organization Against Torture